New Jersey state Sen. Ray Lesniak told an Elephant Day gathering that his state has done what they said was impossible.
“We – You and I and us – have the power to save animals from extinction and cruelty.
We have the power to end poaching, stop terrorists from profiting from it, and save elephants and rhinos from extinction – And We Will.
We have the power to end trophy hunting and save lions and tigers from extinction – And We Will.
We have the power to end shark finning and save sharks from extinction – And We Will.
We have the power to end puppy mills and save dogs and cats from suffering – And We Will.
We have the power to end the killing of black bears – And We Will.
We have the power to end the use of leg hold traps – And We Will.”
He also took a swipe at N.J. Gov. Chris Christie who vetoed legislation banning gestation crates for hogs. They keep pregnant hogs in a tight confinement. Christie said the legislation wasn’t needed but his critics said it was about appeasing Iowa farmers when he was running for the Republican nomination for president.
“As soon as we get a new governor, and we will, we will have the power to end the use of gestation crates – And We Will.”
Lesniak, a Democrat, has been a leader in anti-poaching and the killing of trophy animals, also had a message for Donald and Eric Trump, who have been photographed posing with trophy animals killed in Africa. In one, Donald Jr. held a tail that had been chopped off an elephant.
“This is the message we are sending across America and throughout the world – We have the power to protect animals from extinction and cruelty – And We Will. This is the message New Jersey has sent to the Trump brothers and other trophy hunters – If you bring your trophies into New Jersey, we will lock you up.
This is the message New Jersey has sent to elephant and rhino horn poachers and to the terrorists who profit from it – Your tusks and rhino horns have no value in New Jersey – and we’re here today to prove it.”
Speaking in Jersey City, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, Lesniak reminded the audience, “They said a total ivory sales ban couldn’t be done – And New Jersey Did It!”
The speech was part of the New Jersey Ivory Crush that destroyed ivory objects and recognized what the Garden State has done to protect endangered species. More than 35,000 wild elephants are killed annually for their ivory and and part of the money from illicit poaching and trafficking goes to fund terrorist groups. New Jersey has the strongest and most comprehensive intrastate ban on ivory sales in the United States.
“I’m proud of New Jersey enlightening the rest of our country and the world to the threats to survival of elephants and rhinos and of our ban on ivory transactions and on imports of ‘trophies’ of endangered species,” Lesniak said. “New Jersey is truly The Humane State.”
Background: In 2014, New Jersey became the first state in the U.S. to pass a comprehensive ban on the commercial domestic sale of ivory and rhino horn. Later, President Obama’s administration recently enacted a “near total” ivory and rhino horn import and export sales and interstate commerce ban and credited New Jersey and state-by-state efforts for driving these changes to federal rules. Many airlines have banned trophy animals from their cargo holds.
“To end wildlife poaching and trafficking and prevent the imminent extinction of elephants and other threatened species, we must eliminate markets and profits for traffickers,” said N.J. state Assemblyman Mukerji, also a leader in anti-poaching legislation. “That’s why we need a complete, nationwide ban on ivory commerce.”